Eating out when you’re following a strict diet can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. As long as you go into the restaurant with a plan, dining out can still be an option while you’re dieting.
If you’ve been curious about eating out on keto, look no further than this blog. We’re going to equip you with the tips you need to make meals outside of the home great again.
To become successful at dieting and eating out, you have to get into the habit of planning ahead. If you know that you’ll be dining out, you can check the restaurant’s website to see if they have the menu available online. Once you’re able to peruse the offerings, you can determine your course of action when you get to the restaurant.
If you are having a difficult time finding the menu online, you can call the restaurant and ask how well they can accommodate your diet. Most eateries won’t have a problem making menu swaps, but it’s always good to know in advance how accommodating they’re willing to be.
Eating breakfast out while following a keto diet is a cinch if you go in with a plan. So much of the traditional diner breakfast hinges on fat-friendly foods like eggs and meat. Of course, if you’re trying to get into ketosis, you’ll have to nix the potatoes and bread.
Ask your server to replace these high-carb foods with sauteed vegetables or avocado instead.
Are you craving some comfort food for breakfast? Order eggs benedict sans English muffin and request it be served on a bed of vegetables instead.
The best lunch options for keto dieters focus on protein and fats. Opt for a salad with a portion of meat. Remember to hold the croutons and sugar-laden salad dressings, though. Instead, ask for a salad full of spinach, lettuce, avocado, bell peppers, celery, cabbage, meat of your choosing, and full-fat cheese.
If you’re craving a burger for lunch, request it be served lettuce-wrapped instead of in a bun. Stock up on the typical burger vegetables like pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes and swap the sugary ketchup for mustard.
If you’ve been following the keto diet for some time, you already know that most starchy dinner foods are out of the equation. This includes popular side dishes like rice, french fries, noodles, and root vegetables. Instead of french fries or mashed potatoes for your side, request a double serving of vegetables or a salad.
You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the best meat to pair with your meal. You don’t have to stick with plain chicken breasts, like so many other diets out there recommend. Keto dieters can enjoy fatty meats like New York strip steaks, ribeyes, pork belly, baby back ribs or t-bone steaks.
It’s not a bad idea to ask your server what oil the kitchen uses to prepare their foods. If it’s possible, it’s best to seek healthier oils like avocado, olive or coconut. Try to steer away from canola, soybean, or corn oil if possible.
Just because you’re dieting doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an alcoholic beverage occasionally. The key is to choose options that are low in carbohydrates.
We recommend steering clear of mixed drinks and tonic water as they’re full of sugar. Beer can cause inflammation and also contains gluten, so it tends to be higher in carbs.
If you’re looking for a drink to decompress with after a stressful day, opt for choices like wine or hard liquor. Try dry red wine options, like merlot or pinot noir, or dry white wines, such as champagne or sauvignon blanc. If you’re more of a liquor person, try clear options like gin or vodka as they are keto-friendly.
You might be surprised to find out that keto fast food exists. You’ll need to get a bit creative in some cases, but most of the time you won’t have a problem finding low carb fast food options to suit your lifestyle.
Popular restaurants like Subway, Popeyes, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s all have options for the keto dieter.
At Subway, choose to have your sub as a salad instead of as a sandwich. Stay away from sauces and dressings that are sugary as they’ll add unnecessary carbohydrates to your meal.
Popeyes lovers will appreciate the fact that their batterless blackened chicken tenders only have two net carbs without sacrificing any flavor. Use their delicious hot sauce for a little something-something. If that doesn’t fill you up, add a side of their green beans. They’re low in carbs and even come sprinkled with bacon bits for a dose of protein and fat.
Taco Bell’s menu is well known for being very customizable. Take their power bowls, for example. Replace beans or rice with lettuce or guacamole for a meal that packs a protein and fat punch.
Wendy’s is a great place to visit as they have tasty low-carb salad options on their menu already. Add a Baconator (hold the bun, of course) to your salad, and you’ll have a meaty, protein-packed meal that will hold you over until it’s time to eat again.
No Carb Foods
Almost every natural food available has small traces of carbs in them. The only foods that can rightfully claim to be no carb are oils. Though the concept of “no carb foods” might not be entirely accurate, there are options out there that are so low in carbohydrates that they’re practically carb-free.
Let’s take a look at some (practically) zero carb food options you can order if you’re drawing a blank at a restaurant.
Meat and Seafood
- Organ meat
- Pork rinds
- Smoked fish
- Beef jerky (check labels)
- Boiled eggs
- Keto coffee
- Bok choy
- Broccoli raab
Eating Out On a Keto Diet Is Possible
Just because you’re living a keto lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to boring home-cooked meals every day. Now that you know how easy eating out while dieting can be, you can go to your favorite restaurant without worry. You might be surprised at how accommodating most restaurants can be with your dietary restrictions.